The Dynamic Teen Company: Education on Wheels
by Teddy Cambosa
The City of Cavite is highly considered as one of the numerous cities in the Province of Cavite that could be considered at least to be economically significant, as it places itself to be one of the economic hubs of the province, further progressing development not by the independent city itself but also to the overall reputation of the province itself.
However, with the ongoing development, one must also take note on the various social issues a city might have evidence on. One of them would be the widespread of out-of-school youth, and some are getting involved in juvenile acts such as involvement in drugs and crime. With the prevalence of out-of-school, the local government face these issues with great care in order to lead these children and other youth people towards morale lives. And it is without doubt that the instalment of the Dynamic Teen Company has been beneficial since 1997 in bringing the youth into the tracks of good life and improvement of their educational capabilities.
The existence of such organizations such as the Dynamic Teen Company is that juvenile acts have become a thing in the Philippine society, and is being feared to heavily influence Filipino children due to sheer pressure they get from their playmates or worse, the elders within the community. With the ideology that somehow the child perceives stereotypically that each act done by an elder is vaguely reasonable to imitate, hence their minds are heavily corrupted at an early age. If left unnoticed by their own parents and by each constituent of the locality, there would be fears that the so-called “future of the Fatherland” quoted by Rizal would be, sadly, a mirage. Hence, educating them in as early as possible would mean early development of awareness and sense to the realism of life, and further act on it on how to solve it.
The Dynamic Teen Company was created in 1997 by four high school boys of Cavite National High School. Efren Peñaflorida, who is one of the founders, saw the need to create an organization that will help the youth after seeing the reality of life whilst living off from his parents near an open dump in the City. Peñaflorida started the group in order to divert students' attention away from street gangs, and towards community activism and personal development. Dynamic Teen Company started as a friendship club of around 20 members, with an aim of providing youth awareness projects, talent and self-development activities, and community services. They collaborated with Club 8586, another community service organization operating in the area. However, one of the initial highlights of their group is the idea of the ‘pushcart classroom’ wherein pushcarts were stocked with school materials such as books, pens, tables, and chairs, and then used on Saturdays to recreate school settings in unconventional locations such as the cemetery or trash dump. To date, the Dynamic Teen Program has served to more than 100 communities outside Cavite, and over 4000 youth has benefited from the program. Through these efforts, Peñaflorida was awarded 2009 CNN Hero of the Year and was conferred by the Order of Lakandula, the country’s highest award, by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
True to their Mission: “DTC envisions itself to be an established organization building up out-of-school and at risk of dropping out children and disadvantaged youth in the Philippines, to become morally upright, productive and responsible individuals who embrace a spirit of volunteerism”, the Dynamic Teen Company is a great example of a youth-inclined group that tends to reach out even at the impossible-to-reach communities to instil this rule: education surely helps you to succeed in life.
The Dynamic Teen Company accepts donation through their Philippine Account at the local Bank of the Philippine Islands, or you can donate also through their official PayPal link: https://www.paypal.me/pushcartclassroom. For more information, you can visit directly their website http://dtc.org.ph/.